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Spider Smile

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Spider Smile

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

It's been a constant in the history of Tarwater -- Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok are never satisfied, even with all the world of music that's been produced in over a century of recorded sound. Spider Smile, an invisibly conceptual album that deals with perceptions of America, sounds like an attempt to put into a pop context some of the most inconceivable music that's ever been produced. Whether it's electronic or electric or acoustic (or, usually, a mixture of all three), instrumental or vocal (here the boundaries are more distinct), Spider Smile is a cipher of bewitching sounds. "Witch Park" has an array of shakers, sequencers, and what sounds like a harmonica squealing away in a manner that sounds halfway between the sort of trance Robert Leiner used to produce and that of the Balinese gamelan orchestras. Tarwater's music is informed by the blues of America, the folk music of Africa, the electronic mood music of Cluster.


Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok sit in their recording studio located in the heart of their city and turn the knobs, press the buttons, and shift the regulators until they find a sound, or until a sound finds its way to them. A rhythm, a melody, a noise. For Spider Smile, Tarwater have found pop music: they, the electro duo, each of them with his roots in East Berlin's subculture and avant garde. The sun that rises and sets again and again in "Arkestra" shines for everyone at another place, originating from a joint bus trip with members of Sun Ra Arkestra through the hilly landscape of Scotland. America -- or rather, different ideas of what America is like -- is its essential motif. "Shirley Temple" that marks the beginning, is a clouded electro-overture. The recording studio is Bernd Jestram's and Ronald Lippok's favorite instrument, but still, a number of analog instruments landed up in front of the microphones. A harmonica, for example. And with it the blues. It changes "Witchpark" into a dark dub-landscape. Guitars send several songs on their way -- like the pushing "World of Things to Touch." Violins are plucked distinctly in other songs, an oboe spreads melancholy patina. Later, there is repetition and modification, song- and soundwriting from the spirit of modulation -- a central motif within the music of Tarwater. The album's Virgin Prunes cover makes its way through an echo-chamber. "Home is where the heart is," a line that sums up the entire album very well.

Additional Information

Artist Tarwater
Track Listing 1 Shirley Temple - 4:17 2 World of Things to Touch - 3:21 3 Witchpark - 3:31 4 A Marriage in Belmont - 4:23 5 Lower Manhatten Pantoum - 6:31 6 Roderick Usher - 3:08 7 Arkestra - 2:16 8 When Love Was the Law in Los Angeles - 4:15 9 Easy Sermon - 3:48 10 Sweethome Under White Clouds - 5:43 11 When Tomorrow Comes - 4:22

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